shakespeare in a michigan suburb

twenty-first century romeo and juliet takes place after a gum surgery.
pink satin slip dress she bought on a black friday sale
the day before strewn across the floor.
bottles of anesthetic and antibiotic drugs line her bookshelf.
she steps toward her window,
then crouches, wraps her arms around her bare legs,
exposed and billowing,
looks across orchard walls, stony limits.
seven feet down and separated by a bug screen, romeo calls to juliet.
wings and swearing by the moon is nothing
if he had walked four hours from troy to bloomfield hills.
her doctor told her not to speak
and so she talks with her hands.
if only we lived in another time, another skin color, another religion, another name.
perhaps an alternate universe.

hand wavers.
then tilts her blinds half-closed. reaches for the bottle of painkillers.
presses an ice pack to her puffy cheek.

Kristine Ma is a writer and rising high school senior hailing from Michigan. She received three national gold medals and several other recognitions from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Additionally, her poetry has been recognized by the Young Poets Network and appears in or is forthcoming from Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Hunger, Up North Lit, and Bridge: The Bluffton University Literary Journal, among others.

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